Faithlife sports quite a few remote-work pros from all over the United States (and other countries, too). But we’ve also got some remote-work newbies due to coronavirus social distancing. We’re all adjusting—trying to keep that community feeling and stay productive during the pandemic.
Since many of you are probably in the same boat right now, we thought we’d share some of our team’s best tips for working from home.
- Get up and start your day as if you were headed into the office. One employee put it like this: “Live like your boss is going to knock on your door.”
- Create a modified “morning commute.” This might mean taking a walk around the block or listening to a podcast before you open your laptop to start the day. (Try the Bible Study Magazine podcast and Equipping the Church podcast if you haven’t yet.)
- Set up a dedicated space that’s only for work. This doesn’t have to be a beautiful, elaborate office, but it beats sitting on the couch.
- Build in a 15-minute morning and afternoon break and a 30-minute lunch break to make sure you’re stretching and giving your eyes a break.
- Keep a schedule. Have an activity to do in the evening or over lunch so that you stop working.
- Overcommunicate to keep connected. Don’t be afraid to ask someone if you can hop on a phone call. Create communication groups and share messages.
- If you don’t live alone, make sure your family is aware of work/non-work hours.
- Keep housework to minimum. A load of laundry here or there is fine, but more than that can be distracting.
- Go for “sanity runs”—or walks. Just get outside (while practicing appropriate social distancing, of course).
- Get a standing desk if you’ve been planning to anyway, or rig one up with a stack of books on top of your desk or an ironing board.
- When you send a chat message, don’t expect an immediate response. Likewise, don’t check every notification as soon as you get it—constantly switching tasks means you have to waste brainpower to get back into the swing of what you were doing.
- Hold video meetings (in your Faithlife groups, Google Meet, Zoom, etc.) with camera on. As one employee recommends, “Be eager to fire up a video chat and discuss things face to face. A lot of subtleties can be lost when communicating via text, and video chats are not that hard to set up these days.” Plus, on-camera video chats help avoid annoying talking-over-each-other.
- Schedule occasional group lunches over video chat (with camera on) so you maintain that water-cooler camaraderie.
- Grab some noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs if there’s a lot of noise from traffic, your spouse is also working remotely, your kids are home, or your dog overreacts when a delivery arrives.
- Set focus times when you’re offline. (Even if you’re still working on your computer, you’re not available by chat or email.) This can be a lifesaver.
- Silence is sometimes deafening, especially if you’re used to office white noise. If you listen to music while you work, invest in ad-free streaming.
Do you have more tips for thriving as a remote worker—or as a remote worker during social distancing? Please share below!